Senate Confirms Norton Recommendation Pan for U.S. District Court for D.C.

Sep 23, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced that the Senate today confirmed Florence Pan, Norton’s recommendation to President Biden, to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Biden, like Presidents Clinton and Obama, has granted Norton senatorial courtesy to recommend judges for the U.S. District Court for D.C., the U.S. Attorney for D.C., the U.S. Marshal for the D.C. Superior Court, and the U.S. Marshal for the U.S. District Court for D.C.

In 2016, President Obama nominated Pan for the U.S. District Court for D.C., as recommended by Norton. Pan was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice vote. However, the Republican-led Senate stopped confirming Obama-nominated judges, and Pan’s nomination expired.

“D.C. Superior Court Judge Florence Pan has the professional experience and academic credentials to be an outstanding federal district court judge,” Norton said. “At this time in history, when Asian Americans are literally being attacked, her confirmation by the Senate today holds particular importance. I have full confidence that she will offer excellent service on our U.S. District Court.”

Since 2009, Pan has been an Associate Judge on the D.C. Superior Court, where she has served in the Civil Division, Criminal Division and Family Court. Previously, Pan worked for 10 years in the District’s U.S. Attorney’s Office. She served eight years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, working in both the federal and local trial courts and in the Appellate Division. She served two years as the Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division.

Pan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude, with two undergraduate degrees, including from the Wharton School, and from Stanford Law School, with distinction, where she was an Associate Editor of the Stanford Law Review and student body president. She clerked for Judge Michael Mukasey of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and for Judge Ralph Winter, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Since 2012, Pan has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Federal law does not require judges on the U.S. District Court for D.C. to live in D.C., even though federal judges in virtually every other jurisdiction are required to live in the jurisdiction in which they serve. However, Norton requires every candidate she recommends pursuant to senatorial courtesy to commit to live in D.C. during their tenure. Pan has committed to live in D.C. during her tenure. Norton has introduced a bill that would require judges on the U.S. District Court for D.C. to live in D.C.